Tornado warnings for Southern Ontario…

There are several Tornado watches and warnings in Southern Ontario.  Seek shelter and ensure there are as few small projectiles as possible in your yards. You can track the weather on radar at the Weather Office, so that you can make informed decisions.

The site also has extensive information on storms throughout Canada as well as lightning detection, marine and aviation weather reports and forecasts.

You can also find information from other web sources like at the Weather Network, but unfortunately their servers seem to be overwhelmed when there are serious weather patterns.  The CBC website also offers up-to-date information in several places and they seem to be able to handle the load with ease.


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Suspect an Earthquake?

In light of the recent east coast earthquake (early report is a 5.9 magnitude centring in Virginia), I’d like to present a useful site for confirming your crazy suspicions.

This may be boring to you west coast people who are wondering why we make a big deal about any tiny movement of the earth, but it’s fascinating to us on the east side of the continent.

The United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) Earthquake Hazards Program tracks Earthquakes in real time!  Instead of spending 12 seconds waiting for Twitter followers to verify your vertigo, go directly to the Latest Earthquake information for instant gratification.

The site includes comprehensive information on real-time and historical earthquakes if you are into that kind of thing. Sometimes you have to filter through the noise to get to valuable information on the web.

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Leveraging other’s experiences

An interesting thing happened when I returned from vacation.  My vehicle was left in the driveway of my parents’ house for a week, under an evergreen.  Unfortunately, that tree had been leaking sap.

Tree sap has a terrible effect on paint. For anyone that has had the experience of trying to remove sap from any surface, it is not a fun process and the sap usually wins.  My parents told me that this had previously happened to their car.  After days of trying, and several different techniques and products, the paint was damaged enough that they eventually repainted the car.  That was a thousand dollar decision.

About half of the hood and the fender of my vehicle was covered in the sticky nightmare. My wife and I initially tried to scrub the sap off, but instead we managed to spread it around.   The white coloured sap was a rather stark contrast to the dark blue of the vehicle.  A few days of scrubbing got us nowhere.

Everyone we spoke to wished us luck in getting rid of the unwanted design.  We were considering repainting the vehicle.  Then today we realized that the internet actually has useful information.

After some investigation on the web, my wife was able to find details on removing tree sap from a vehicle.  Apparently this wasn’t as niche or as rare as I thought it was.  So after reading some tips about using a hair dryer or nail polish remover (aka paint remover – what were they thinking), we settled on the most benign of the options, hand sanitizer.

Hand sanitizer, a rag, and only a small amount of elbow grease fully removed the tree sap! It certainly pays to do a little web research.  Use the power of many experiences to help resolve any issue that you may think is unique.  You are not alone. You will feel empowered, and you might even be able to save some time and money.

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Friday Debrief

Teenagers begin to dread it, kids get excited, and parents can’t wait for it.  School is set to begin in a few weeks, it may be time to start looking for back to school sales as you sing about the most wonderful time of the year.

Here are my links of the week:

  • Marc Saltzman @moneyville does a product review of something dear to my heart.  As a former employee of Clickfree, I would recommend checking out these backup devices.
  • After tripping an IED and saving the lives of 6 soldiers in Afghanistan, an RC truck gave its life for a good cause.  Trucks to Troops is born.


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Know when to walk away and know when to run

You may be really interested in making a purchase when you walk in to a store.  Perhaps a salesperson has approached you and tried to sell you something, and you didn’t know how badly you wanted it until they pointed it out.  Maybe you were browsing and were not ready to purchase.  There are certain scenarios when you need to walk away from a deal:

1. Hard sell

The salesperson talks about how great this deal is and will not give you a chance to research the product or service.  He can’t guarantee the deal will be available later, or tells you someone else is interested and the product is in limited quantity.  Don’t let anyone bully you into a sale.  Walk away. There will be others.

2. Slamming the competition

If the seller has less focus on the product or service that is being  pushed and more on the competitors that are “inferior”, it may be an opportunity for you to learn more about the competition.  The salesperson might also mention that the competition works on commission and he doesn’t.   Walk away.

3. Relentless salesperson

If you tell a salesperson that you need time to think about it, or that you are not interested at the moment, they need to respect your decision.  One follow up is ok.  If they continue to contact you to see if you are interested in making the purchase, tell them you are walking away.

4. Bait and switch

You ‘ve done your research and go in looking to buy something specific.  The salesperson (subtly or not) slams the product.  However, he is willing to sell you something that is more expensive under the guise that it’s better!  Stick with the original item, or walk away.  Don’t impulse buy when you have focused  your research on a different product. The salesperson may be correct but walk away and do your own homework first.

5. Trust me!

If a salesperson is willing to promise you something in a deal, but not willing to put it in writing, don’t count on it after you sign a contract.  This includes big purchase, like homes, cars or vacations, as well as insurance, financial products, and day-today purchases.  If you negotiate long enough, you will be amazed at what will be promised to you.

6.  Crazy eyes

When the the salesperson can’t make eye contact with you while delivering their pitch or when they are answering questions, they are probably not being completely honest with you.  Walk away.  Great poker players understand eye contact, vocal changes and body language.  This can be crucial in getting out of a bad deal.

7.   What is it?

It’s been 60 seconds into a sales pitch, and you don’t know what is being sold. The dream that they are trying to sell you will turn into a nightmare. Walk away.

8. Too good to be true

If the deal sounds too good to be true, go cool off.  Walk away. Seek the advice of friends, family, and professionals.

9. You must pay to get the deal

If you’ve won a ‘lottery’ especially.  There is no need to pay someone for the privilege of winning or buying something.  Perhaps there may be 1 or 2 exceptions (i.e. Costco).

The bottom line is that if your Spidey sense is tingling, trust it.  If you are not a mutant super-hero take some time and seek out trusted opinions.  The salesperson, no matter how hard they are working, have their own interest in mind and many times it will come ahead of yours.

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